Last night we did our two-hour (11p.m. - 1a.m.) post convention show from a Boston hotel rooftop with almost no problems. I know how I would characterize the police siren that sounded in the background more than once during the show (that's a problem) but not sure how to characterize the fireworks. The fireworks were beautiful but were loud and might have seemed odd in the background of our show. I will have to let you decide this.
I did run into a huge problem when we took phone calls from viewers but I have only myself to blame. My stage manager held up a sign that said “30 hard” — meaning 30 seconds to break and I had to hit the break at 30 or the computer would simply do it for me. Having the computer rip you off air for a break is ugly ... so I instead interrupt guests if there is likely to be a problem.
At “30 hard” I elected to take a phone call from a viewer. I thought at the time I would take the call, field it myself so I could control the time for an answer and get out on time. The caller was a very nice woman whose son is serving our country in Iraq. The last thing I want to do is cut off a woman whose son is serving in Iraq!
As luck would have it, as she finished her comment, she specifically directed a question at our guest Ceci Connolly of the Washington Post. I had no choice but to let Ceci say a word or two —-but I was in a terrible bind with the clock running down. To try and help myself, I made a frantic winding down sign to Ceci ... but, alas, I did it as the director took a wide shot of Ceci and me.
Out of the corner of my eye I could see a TV monitor and could see on TV my hand wildly trying to get Ceci the message I needed a short answer from her. Frankly I thought it made me look very rude when the truth was I was trying to solve a big problem I had gotten myself into. I suppose I should not have taken that last call when I was told “30 hard,” but I actually love taking calls from viewers and could not resist.
In my TV career at CNN I guest hosted Larry King's show where calls are taken from viewers and I always had fun. I do like to hear what viewers think and I enjoy the dialogue ... and I often learn something new.
I hope you enjoy the pics I took for you today. And yes, the pics are from a professional, but are definitely behind the scenes.
Do you have something you'd like to say to Greta? Please write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Watch On the Record with Greta Van Susteren weeknights at 10 p.m. ET